Monday, December 14, 2009

Big Cats

If you read my earlier post you saw that I went to Tennessee over Thanksgiving break to visit my husband's parents. While I was there in Tennessee we went to the Knoxville Zoo and I had some encounters with some of the animals that I never would have imagined possible....

First of all, I did not realize that you could get this close to a male Lion!
He did not seem to be completely comfortable with Chris and I standing so close!
He paced back and forth and had a deep low growl that he was managing to get out without opening his large mouth. He looked a little frantic, like he was trying to hold back his frustration towards us. Chris and I were counting on that fence between us and the Lion to protect us in case of an outburst!

Once again, I did not realize that you could get this close to these big cats!
There was a sign on the fence that said, "Please NO Flash photography", the cat apparently really does not like flash. I heard a story before about a guy in the circus who had been a Bengal Tiger's trainer for many years. One night he decided to wear a silver sequins shirt and it caused his faithful tiger to attack him and kill him!! Many of you might remember this..
Well I remembered this and decided to follow the instructions on the sign and turn my flash off. Well it seemed like that tiger knew that big cameras like mine are the ones that usually produce this huge flash that he hates! He decided to try and scare me out of taking pictures of him!
He jumped up on the fence about 5 ft. in front of me and growled a big cat growl, causing me to jump and miss the picture of his huge mouth wide open! Instead I snapped a picture right after, getting a lousy closed mouth. Soooo.. Despite the fact that I didn't get that great picture, has anyone else ever been growled at by a Tiger and a Lion in one day??

Thursday, December 10, 2009

A Thanksgiving Full of Firsts

This Thanksgiving break I went to Tennessee to visit my husband Chris' parents. Chris' brother Lee came with his wife Stacie and his two beautiful girls Madeline and Charlotte. We even surprised Chris' parents by picking his other brother Zach up at the Knoxville Airport. We had such a fun time visiting with everyone for the week. This Thanksgiving break was so unique because it seemed to be full of all kinds of firsts.

This is baby Charlotte meeting her Great Grandmother for the FIRST time.
She was very calm and quiet as she just stared into her great grandmothers eyes. She seemed to be trying to figure something out. It was like she recognized a similarity but she couldn't put her little finger on it. Very Precious moment...

This was Madeline's FIRST time playing in the fall leaves. Port Saint Lucie, Florida does not offer this opportunity for her very often!
At first she seemed a little shy.. she just kicked the leaves a little and dragged her fingers across them trying to figure out what we expected her to do. I sat down in the leaves and invited her to join me, from there on out she new just what to do! She would jump in and then ask her daddy for a hand to help her up!

This Thanksgiving is the FIRST holiday in 3 years that the whole McElroy family has been together. Plus this was my first holiday ever spent with all of the McElroys!
Lee, Stacie, Chris and I decided that we were going to drive to Knoxville and spend some time touring around a little. Well, little did the parents know that we were also picking up their other son Zach at the Knoxville airport. Zach snuck around back and up through the basement door. He came up behind his mother, and casually asked "Mom do you have an extra blanket I could use?" She did a double take, and then came the scream!!

The Start of My Blog...

Why the start of the blog??
Well honestly, I get tired of taking so many photos and having them sit on my hard drive with no one to see them but me. Maybe this will be motivation to just take more photographs altogether. I really love it.. documenting my experiences. Sometimes my photos are not even technically correct, but I have captured the moment and there is something that I just love about that.
So I will start with a photograph that I did not take today, but it is a picture of a moment that I captured this summer, a moment that I am missing very much right now.
I took this photograph at the Augusta Rodeo in Montana. I traveled to Augusta with a group of friends from photography school. We all had the same intentions I think.. we just wanted to experience Montana at its fullest and practice some photo skills that we had been learning so far. Wow! Places like this still exist!?! It was one of the most amazing experiences I have ever had. I have been to a rodeo before in Pennsylvania.. but that was nothing compared to a true Montana rodeo.
The streets were dusty, the smell of barbecue was in the air, and if you weren't wearing a cowboy hat you stuck out like a sore thumb! Montana is full of precious places like this... The reason I call them precious is because of how rare these places are in the world now. I felt as if I had traveled back in time, and I got to take my camera with me!